Legat-Verlag Arms and Armor from Iran

PUBLICITY | M. Gordon Reviewer DWJ (German Arms Magazine)

August 2007

The 4.5-kilo book in English is impressive on the bookshelf for both its size and its contents.  The book deals with the area of modern-day Iran, spanning a time period of thousands of years, from the bronze age to 1925.

The book is divided in two parts. First, it deals with the development of edged weapons in this area on a very high academic level and it also describes different peoples and tribes who have influenced the country over different periods of time.  For example, not only are well-known casting methods from Luristan described in detail, but also other areas of development that are not very familiar to us.  Different peoples such as the Medes, the Parthians, the Sassanians, and the migration of Indo-European tribes influenced the shape of weapons.  The Muslim Conquest of Iran as well as the Mongol invasion also left their traces.  A long chapter deals with the development of the shamshir and its variants.  Also other weapons such as khanjar, kard and pishqabz are analyzed.  Other chapters deal with polearms, maces, armor, and also the bow.  Materials (especially damascus steel) are discussed in detail, but in addition to that, symbols such as the lion and the sun and the others are described, those descriptions supported by drawings and pictures. 

The second part of the book is a catalog with 500 pictures [500 artifacts] that, in addition to the first part that has many pictures showing  all weapons in detail.  The book shows many weapons for the first time, because the author had access to unknown private collections as well as ten royal/state collections within Iran.  Thus, even the picturial catalog overshadows any other published book on the subject that is known to us.

An excellent bibliography, carefully and intelligently organized, brings the book to perfection.  This book is a must for every collector of these weapons, as well as for everyone who is interested in the development of edged weapons.  It is a book that could only be written by an author from this country; an Iranian who studied at German, Spanish and American universities.  The English language should not be an obstacle for anyone who wants to buy this book: even someone who is not fluent in English will surely benefit from this book.  The price is high, but justified – it is a new standard work.



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